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Full text of "Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A Guide to the Use of the International Phonetic Alphabet: Japanese"

Japanese 

Hideo Okada 

6-29-22 Sakuradai, Nerima-ku, Tokyo 176-0002, Japan 

The style of speech illustrated is that of many educated Japanese brought up in Tokyo or 
other areas with similar pitch accent systems. The transcription is based on a recording of a 
25-year-old student whose speech is typical of speakers of his age group with this 
background. 

Consonants 





Bilabial 


Labio- 
dental 


Dental 


Alveolar 


Post- 
alveolar 


Palatal 


Velar 


Uvular 


Glottal 


Plosive 


P b 




t d 




k 9 






Affricate 






t s 










Nasal 


m 




n 






N 




Flap 










r 










Fricative 








S Z 










h 


Approximant 








J 


w 







p paN 
b baN 


'bread' 
'(one's) turn' 


t 
d 
t 8 


t&jo: 
daNdaN 


'the sun' 

'gradually' 

'notice' 


k 
9 


kaze 'wind' 

gaito: 'cloak, overcoat 

igaku 'medicine' 


m mazu 


'first' 


n 

r 


nani 


'what' 
'orchid' 


N 


zero 'goodwill' 
(See also /b, p, d, r7.) 






s 
z 


suisi 
zat s uzi 


'numeral' 
'chores' 


h 


hana 'nose' 






J 


jama" 
mjaku 


'mountain' 
'pulse' 


w 


wa (particle) 



Vowels 

i imi 'meaning' 

e 6me 'smile!' (archaic imperative) 

a ama 'woman diver (for abalone)' 

o 6mo '(sur)face' (archaic) 

u umu 'suppurate' 



yi 




— \ 


\* u 




, • 


e 


\ .. 








A 



1 1 8 Handbook of the IP A 



Vowel length 






ozisantafi 'uncles' 




ozi: santafi ' grandfathers ' 


hodo 'degree, 


extent' 


hodo: 'sidewalk' 


Pitch accent 






hasi 'chopsticks' 




hasi o nuru 'paint chopsticks' 


hasi 'bridge' 




hasi o nuru 'paint a bridge' 


hasi 'end' 




hasi o nuru 'paint the end' 



Conventions 

/p, t, t s , k/ are only moderately aspirated. Syllable-final (moraic) forms of these and other 
voiceless obstruents occur as the first part of geminates, e.g. /happo:/ 'firing', /jatto/ 'at 
last', /gakko:/ 'school', /hossa/ 'attack (of disease)'. The geminate form of /t7 is /tt7, as in 
/kutfukemasita/ 'pressed, attached', /b/ is normally [b], but in rapid speech it may become 
[v] or [£]. Igl tends to become [y] between vowels. Older and otherwise conservative 
speakers use [rj] in all medial positions, except mainly for the element /g67 'five' in number 
designations, as e.g. /nizju:-go/ [jjizuigo] 'twenty-five'. /rV, which corresponds to 'r' in 
Romanization, is postalveolar in place rather than retroflex and mainly occurs medially. 
Initially and after /n/, it is typically an affricate with short friction, [dl]. A postalveolar [I] is 
not unusual in all positions. Approximant [j] may occasionally occur in some environments. 
/t7 is normally [ts] but becomes [tc] before I'll, /n/ before HI is prepalatal []}]. Before /u/, it 
may be alveolar with some speakers. Consonants generally are strongly palatalized before 
/i/, as /mi/ [mH] 'body', /n/ represents a moraic nasal with very variable pronunciation. 
Word-finally before a pause, it is typically a uvular nasal with a loose tongue contact or a 
close to close-mid nasalized vowel. Such a nasalized vowel is also the normal realization 
before a vowel or approximant, or before /h/ or /s/, as e.g. Iz6ml [ d z£ii] 'goodwill', 
/hoNJaku/ [hoijaku] 'translation', /zeNhaN/ [ d zefhaN] 'first half. Before other consonants, 
it is homorganic with that following consonant, as e.g. /siNpo/ [cimpo] 'progress', /siNni/ 
[cijjjji] 'truly', /siNti/ [cind-H] 'truth', /s/ and /z/ are [c] and [z] before /i/. Ill tends to be 
[ d z] initially ([ d z] before HI) and after /n/. Ihl tends towards [9] and [$] before HI and /u/ 
respectively. Ihhl is realized as [99], [xx] or [§§] depending on the (normally identical) 
surrounding vowels. 1)1 affects the preceding consonant as HI does, and is itself absorbed, 
thus: /mjakuV [mJaku] 'pulse', /t s ja/ [tea] 'tea', /sj6:/ [co:] 'prize' , /kanju:/ [kajju:] 'joining'. 
/t,d/ before /i,j/, normally limited to borrowings, remain essentially unpalatalized, thus 
/tiipaiti:/ [tiipaitii] 'tea party', /direkuta:/ [dir£kutai] 'director', /djiiaru/ [djuaru] 'dual', 
/w/ has very slight or no rounding (except after I of), but involves no spreading either. 

/u/, resembling [in] auditorily, has compressed lips, so that it is unrounded but without 
spreading; it could be transcribed narrowly as [\f] or [W]. The slit between the lips may be 
very narrow vertically and is generally much shorter in the horizontal plane than for [i]. A 
very advanced variety in the [i] area may occur among the younger age groups. Except in 
accented or lengthened syllables, /i, u/ tend to be devoiced [i, u] between voiceless 
consonants. As often as not, preceding fricatives replace them altogether. Final unaccented 
/si 1 / is very often reduced to [s]. 



Illustrations of the IP A 1 1 9 

There are two lexically relevant pitch levels: high and low. Within a word, if the first 
mora is high-pitched, the second is inevitably low-pitched, and vice versa. A mora 
transcribed with an acute accent, a, is said to be accented and is high. If more than one mora 
precedes it, the high pitch extends towards the beginning of the word up to the second 
mora. A word with no accent mark begins low and continues high from the second mora 
onwards. All moras following the accent are low until another accented or polysyllabic 
word is reached, when these accentuation rules reapply. Note that word pairs such as /nasi/ 
'bridge' and /nasi/ 'end' are both low-high when spoken in isolation, but will be 
distinguished when something else follows. What follows will be low after the accent, but 
otherwise high. When a long (two-mora) vowel is transcribed with an accent, only the first 
mora is high, and a pitch drop occurs between the two moras. 

Transcription of recorded passage 

arutoki kitakaze to taijo: ga t s ikarakutabe o simasita. tabibito no gaito: o 
nugaseta ho: ga kat s l to ju: koto ni kimete, mazu, kitakaze kara 
hazimemasita. kitakaze wa, nani, hitomakuti ni site misejo:, to, hagesiku 
hukitatemasita. suruto tabibito wa, kitakaze ga hukeba hukuhodo gaito: o 
sikkarko karada ni kutt s ukemasita. koNdo wa taijo: no baN ni narjmasita. 
taijo: wa kumo no aida kara jasasii kao o dasite, atatakana hikari o 
okurimasita. tabibito wa daNdaN joi kokoromot s i ni natte, simai ni wa 
gaito: o nugimasita. sokode kitakaze no make ni narjmasita. 

Romanization (Hepburn system) 

Arutoki Kitakaze to Taiyo ga chikara-kurabe o shimashita. Tabibito no gaito o nugaseta ho 
ga kachi to yu koto ni kimete, mazu Kitakaze kara hajimemashita. Kitakaze wa, 'Nani, 
hitomakuri ni shite miseyo', to, hageshiku fukitatemashita. Suruto tabibito wa, Kitakaze ga 
fukeba fukuhodo gaito o shikkarito karada ni kuttsukemashita. Kondo wa Taiyo no ban ni 
narimashita. Taiyo wa kumo no aida kara yasashii kao o dashite, atatakana hikari o 
okurimashita. Tabibito wa dandan yoi kokoromochi ni natte, shimai ni wa gaito o 
nugimashita. Sokode Kitakaze no make ni narimashita. 

Orthographic version 



Handbook of the International Phonetic Association : 
A Guide to the Use of the International Phonetic Alphabet 
International Phonetic Association, July 1999.